Show us something that you’ve recycled or repurposed, or an object for which you’ve discovered a clever new use, Krista Stevens asked us yesterday. So I strutted through my house, in search of a photo-worthy object. I could have chosen the big gray kettle that I’m using to collect old paper. Or the milk jug that I repurposed into a toilet brush holder.
Then I thought of Mr. Maganga, a passionate teacher I met in Malawi, Africa, in 2014. And I knew that none of my photos expresses the level of recycling he has reached better than this one:
His eyes shine like a beacon of hope. They draw me in like a moth is pulled to a flame. Not to be burned, but to be submerged in a pool of energy, humor and passion. His name is Jeffrey Titus Maganga, and he is the most charismatic man I have met in a long time.
Mister Maganga works at Lilongwe’s Teacher Trainer College in Malawi, where he tells us all about TALULAR – Teaching And Learning Using Locally Available Resources. In Malawi, resources are scarce, and the help of the government is not always available. He teaches his students to use their imagination, creativity and common sense beyond the knowledge of college.
In the beginning, his never ending search for free materials drove his wife mad, whenever he returned from a trip to for example the supermarket, with bags full of useless stuff, junk even. Think of used sheets, of corks and reeds, paper boxes and cans, Useless.., until Jeffrey thinks of new ways to convert them into educational materials. Now she even helps me to collect them! He winks.
His enthusiasm is contagious, and my heart swells with pride. This is a man all of us can learn from. No fancy talk, no expensive materials. Just a man and his passion, his love for teaching, and for the environment.